Friday, March 30, 2012

Perfect Points-Lesson 4-Ohio Star & Pinwheels

Lesson 4
I swear I have everything as good as it gets...then I find a bad point!  Sigh......I'll never achieve perfect, but I'm getting lots of the frog stitch!!!!!  I'm doing better than I thought I would, though with these smaller, many pieces & points blocks.  We have 2 more lessons to go with this 6-week BOM at Connecting Threads.  Lesson 5 has some paper piecing, which I've tried a time or two and totally stink at that!  Not sure how we'll do the paper part...draw it, I think.  Hmmmm...wonder if I could print out my paper piecing with EQ7?  We'll see, won't we!!

Friday, March 23, 2012

In Color Order - HST March Block

I can't believe I've caught up with all the BOMs to which I've committed myself.  This is the March block from In Color Order's Half Square Triangle Quilt BOM.  Whew!  and another Whew!!!  These HSTs are much larger and easier.  The block is 12 1/2 inches with each HST 3 1/2 inches.  These I can put together much faster than the small ones from Perfect Points.  I'm loving these colors and can hardly wait to see this morph into a quilt!

Till next month......keep on stitchin'!

Perfect Points-Lesson 3 Teeny Tiny!

Ooops! Glaring mistake!  See it?

Bear's Paw corrected

Friendship Star
This Perfect Points lesson from Connecting Threads was a hard one for me.  Those half square triangles finish at 1 inch square!!!!  Teeny tiniest pieces I've ever worked with and look at all those points that had to be matched.  I did pretty good.  Far from perfect, but I'm proud of myself! :-D  When I finished the Bear's Paw, I posted my photo on Connecting Threads, mentioning that I had one point that was off pretty badly.  Someone privately emailed me and suggested I take another look at a particular area. To which I replied that yes, I know I have a bad point.  She politely asked me to look again at the toes.  DUH!  If you haven't see it yet, look at the paws in the lower right of the block.  Poor bear has two broken toes on the bottom!  After all the checking, standing back and squinting, picture taking and posting of said picture...I still didn't see that I'd sewn in 2 HSTs the wrong way.  These block look large, but they actually measure 8 1/2 for the Bear's Paw and 6 1/2 x 8 1/2 for the Friendship Star.  I promise both blocks are squared up, even though the funky plaid border makes it look nice and wavy!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Catching up with HST

Feb 2012
Here's Block 2 of the Half Square Triangle quilt from In Color Order.  So many points to watch out for on this one!  Did a bit of frog stitching...again.  But my main problem is pressing the seams the correct way.  I won't tell you how many unpresses (new word???) I did to get the seams to lock together.  Only one on this block is a stacked seam.  I'd have to do some serious ripping and frankly, madam...I refuse! :-) I have March's Block 3 to do and I'll be caught up with this BOM.

This afternoon, I'll work on the Perfect Points blocks from Connecting Threads.  These are also HST, but are only 1 inch finished!  Aaaaaackkk!!!  I think I'll need to put on some relaxing music for those.  Don't drink alcohol, so music will have to do!  Off to pop a roast in the oven so I can sew longer today!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

How many Half Square Triangles did you say??????

January's HST Block
Sigh...I'm a gonner now for sure!  I made the mistake of doing a search for 2012 Block of the Month quilts.  I found a site that lists them all!!!  This gal has taken the time to make a list of all the BOMs for 2012 she could find on the web.  She even categorized them!  Bless her heart!!  If you's her site:

I found 3 BOMs that caught my eye.  Two are piecing, one is another free motion.  I decided to begin with this one and see how it goes.  A quilt made up entirely of half square triangles (HST).  From my stash, I'm using a couple of 10" layer cakes.  Same fabrics in both. I may not need but one cake...we'll see.  The cake fabric, according to the label, is Road to Marrakech by Lantz (I think...tiny print!).  I picked these up a couple years ago when I was at the Paducah quilt show. 

So, go check out the site that's doing this HST BOM, In Color Order, here:

Friday, March 16, 2012

Snowballs & Sawtooth Stars-Lesson 2 Perfect Points

Lesson 2 Snowballs and Sawtooth Stars
 I am thrilled with the results I got with the points this time.  Because the snowball and stars overlap, the points needed to be spot on to achieve the illusion of a straight line.  I only had to frog stitch 2 points in this lesson! WooHoo.  I pulled out a tool that my friend, who is a wonderful quilter and she knows who she is, talked me into buying not too long ago.  She said she uses it all the time.  Well, I only used it once in a while and it was almost relegated to that drawer full of unused ruler and tools....until now.  I have decided it is my favorite tool. Thanks, friend!! Perfect for marking quarter inch seam allowances on corners, angles, straight edges.  Perfect Piecer by Jenny Beyer.  I will be keeping it close to my machine. 
I'm not all that thrilled with the large print fabric in the snowballs, but it's there and there it stays.  I'm hoping it will all pull together by the time the quilt is finished.  I layed out all the blocks so far on the floor and took a picture.  Cloudy day, so the colors aren't as good.  Not too bad.  I have to keep telling's just a learning quilt.  I would never have believed I'd be putting together blocks like these...and liking them!!!

Lessons 1 & 2
I think I'm caught up now on everything for March.  More to come in April!!  Keep stitchin'!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

March FMQ - Doodle Does It!

Doodle Combo

Doodle Spiral Flower
I took some time this afternoon to doodle using Ann Fahl's doodles!  My second try at doodling is the Doodle Combo picture above.  This one has 4 different doodles.  Going clockwise starting at the upper right - spirals, spiral flowers, hearts, stars.  I chose the spiral flowers to create a whole block for my FMQ sampler quilt.  The stars section was a close second.  This was really fun and freeing in a way.  If I made a mistake, who's to know?? hahaha

The good thing about doodles?? I can actually see these in a quilt and creating doodles of my own.  Something that I feel I could do a pretty good job of - even now in my FMQ infancy!  And did you notice?  I've gone to a darker, but still neutral, variegated thread!  Getting braver!  Before long, I'll break out in glorious colors!!!!

March FMQ Challenge - Practice & Playing!

This month's FMQ Challenge teacher is Ann Fahl.  She has provided us with doodle samples with which to play.  When I first saw these, my immediate response was....this is going to be hard to make these shapes, doodles or not!  My first attempts at 3 of the doodles are pictured above.  This is on a project that I made recently as a sample for Bernina's Software Sampler class. You can see the whole project on my Picasa Photo site.  Click on link on the right for Stitching With Sue Project Photos.  Truthfully, honestly, I swear, these are my first and only attempts so far.  I was so surprised at how easy this was right off the bat!  I began with the loops.  Got lost a few times and felt as if I was going backwards or something, but I found my rythmn quickly.  Then in the second photo, I added spirals to the loops.  The 3rd photo shows loops with stars...STARS!  I free motioned STARS!!!!

Oh, and that easy listening, nature music is really helping me to relax and enjoy this process. 

A Pointed Affair, that Square in a Square!

The last part of Perfect Points Lesson 1 at Connecting Threads is small square in a square blocks joined together two by two.  We use a placement pin at the points to match up the points, placing the pin straight down through both points.  Then we pin the fabric together to hold the points and remove the placement pin.  Then when sewn, the points will match up perfectly.  Sounds easy, huh?!!  It seems even a thread off with that placement pin and those booger points won't line up!  Luckily only 2 had to be frogged stitched (rip it, rip it) and realigned. 

And I bet you are thinking...those two blocks in the bottom of the picture need to be fixed...well, they don't!  I thought so too after looking at the picture and went back to the real deal to check.  There's a small black square of the multi-colored plaid at the point of the inner square giving it the illusion that the points are not aligned.  I swear!  I swear!!!

A Gaggle of Geese!

Part of Lesson 1 of Perfect Points at Connecting Threads was Flying Geese.  I struggled a bit with peeks and narrow seam allowance.  I was using a technique of cutting the pieces a bit larger, then trimming down to size after the section was made.  We used a rectangle and 2 squares to make a section.  I finally marked the center 1/4" seam on the rectangle and the corner 1/4" seam on the squares.  Matching them up rather than matching the square to the sides of the rectangle gave me a nice seam allowance at the peak.  BUT....I was concentrating so hard on that, that I forgot to pay attention to the side seam allowances.  Those aren't so even.  sigh....  Oh, well...I'm learning!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

I've lost my mind! Perfect Points??

Well, crazy me has joined another BOM.  This one from Connecting Threads   I'm doing the Perfect Points Quilt Along.  Above is part of Lesson 1.  As someone who has been sewing all her life and has made complicated clothing and other items, you'd think this would be a breeze for me.  Well, let me tell you...the breeze is a 90-mile-an-hour gust and I'm stressing like crazy!  These are small pieces...I usually work with larger pieces.  These are precise cutting and sewing...most of my quilts have been very forgiving.  This little 8.5 inch block took me hours!  But look at those points!!!  Nice and sharp and placed very well.

I'm working on flying geese now.  I'm using a technique suggested by the teacher to cut the pieces a bit larger then cut down to size as you go.  This worked pretty well with the square in a square block, but I'm having problems with the geese.  The quarter inch seam at the point is coming up a bit narrow.  Next goose will get that seam and point marked and I'll align everything with the mark and see how that works.  Of course, all the pieces have been cut out already for lesson 1 and who wants to trim down a jillion little pieces???  Well, maybe not a jillion....

Sunday, March 4, 2012

March Funky Chicken

March Close

Another chicken digitized and stitched!  I can only hope that this roll that I'm on will continue through this year.  Plus it helps that these Fat Cat Patterns are large enough to digitize easily.

I had an Aha moment today, quickly followed by a huge Duh moment!  Some of the decorative stitches weren't showing up well and I've been backing up the stitch sequence and repeating the stitch to give it a heavier appearance.  Then I remembered I've got all this colorful heavier weight quilting thread!  I tried it on one section of this block and it embroiders very nicely.  It doesn't have the shine of the polyester embroidery thread, but I think I'll like it.  Next month's block will have decorative stitches in quilting thread.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Craftsy's BOM for March.....Strings!!

March Block 1

March Block 2

It's the 3rd of March and I've already completed the BOMs from Craftsy.  WooHoo!  This month is string blocks on foundation.  Both were new ways that I'd never done before.  Block 1 was created with strips sewn diagonally on 4 squares.  The light colored strip in the center is the base square foundation.  Block 2 was created by sewing strings to a 4 triangles.  The base triangle foundation was again the light color in the center.  They were fun to do.  What may look like black in the blocks is actually brown.  Night time pictures just aren't as good as day time pictures!

I'm still struggling with that scant quarter inch seam.  I did quite a bit of the frog stitch on Block 2 in order to end up with a 12.5" block and still have my quarter inch seam allowances on the edges.  First sew together ended up with a block about an inch too large!  Geez...they do say SCANT, Sue! hahaha  One of these days, I'll find my happy medium for a scant quarter inch.